is a new theological school that has opened a campus within the Danville Correctional Center. Danville, IL is located around 150 miles from the Chicago loop. It is about 100 miles south of Beecher, Illinois and is near the state line with Indiana. The Danville Correctional Center is a high medium security prison for men.
DIVINE HOPE BEGINS BRANCHING OUT
In His sovereign providence, God has suddenly thrown open the door for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary to open a Study Center at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. This maximum-security prison is the oldest prison in the state, originally built to house prisoners during the Civil War. Three-quarters of the offenders serve sentences for murder.
Our fall semester at the Danville facility was delayed due to a virus outbreak among the inmates which left 90 men with fevers and coughs. On the exam day for the summer class, one of the seminary students was called out of the classroom because his house had been placed under lockdown. Soon the entire prison was on an extended lockdown. Men with the virus were quarantined, delaying our fall semester until the third week of September. The faculty and students are trying to make up for lost time.
Several new students were accepted into the program for the fall semester, with the numbers breakdown in classes as follows:
12 students in Greek 101 (Nathan Brummel)
15 students in Greek 201 (Nathan Brummel)
38 students in two sessions of Hermeneutics (Nathan Brummel)
28 students in Soteriology (Nathan Brummel)
18 students in Heidelberg Catechism (John Surowiec)
38 students in two sessions of New Testament Survey (John Surowiec)
38 students in two sessions of Counseling 101 (Todd Joling).
Brianna Brands published a story about the seminary in the Edgerton Enterprise, the hometown newspaper of the little Dutch town of Edgerton in southwest Minnesota
"In the four days I've spent in the Danville prison so far, I've been struck by the wonder of God's grace. It's difficult to imagine that these students who are so hungry to learn God's Word and ways are some of the same men who committed horrible crimes. As they sing from the Psalter Hymnal, take turns leading in prayer, greet me and thank me time and again for coming to teach God's Word, I see the sincere love many of them have for the Lord. God has truly transformed their lives. As some of them still struggle with feelings of guilt for their crimes, what a blessing that God has given an example of His amazing mercy in saving Saul the persecutor, the chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:16). Truly, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (I Timothy 1:15)."
"But I'm struck not only by God's grace to these prisoners, I'm also amazed at God's grace to me and you. As I walk out the prison gates at the end of the day, back into a world of freedom, to travel back to a home of joy and comforts, it is a strange feeling. I'm often humbled by the fact that I am no different from the men who remain locked-up, except that the grace of God took hold of me at an earlier age, blessed me with a Christian home, church, and school, and preserved me from committing the crimes for which these men are sentenced." --Rev. Todd Joling
September 13 & 14, Conference at Robinson Correctional Center, Robinson, IL
September 22, Trinity PCA, De Motte, IN
September 23 & 24, Conference at Graham C.C., Hillsboro, IL
October 6, Oak Lawn United Reformed Church, Oak Lawn, IL
October 11 & 12, Conference at Western Illinois Prison, Mt. Sterling, IL
October 13, Covenant United Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa
Providence Reformed Church, Des Moines, Iowa
October 20, Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Orland Park, IL
October 27, Bethel United Reformed Church, Jenison, MI
November 3, Grace United Reformed Church, Alto, MI
November 10, Faith United Reformed Church, Beecher, IL
November 17, Walker United Reformed Church, Walker, MI
Paula Brummel and Jamie Love spoke at a Christian women’s conference at Rockville Women’s Prison in Rockville, Indiana on August 9 and 10. The subject of the conference was the first table of the Law. A friend of Jamie’s, Evelina, used her singing gifts to sing several solos.
Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary is a dedicated prison seminary with its first campus within the Danville Correctional Center in Danville, Illinois. The seminary began classes in March, 2012. The current enrollment in the four-year program is 20 sophomores and 5 freshmen. The Divine Hope board of directors seeks to hire an individual to teach the Hebrew language and Old Testament courses with a focus on the redemptive-historical unfolding of the covenant of grace and how Christ is revealed in the Old Testament.
Any candidate for this position must hold at least a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) degree (a Th.M. or PhD is preferred) and have five years of pastoral experience. He must belong to a member church of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) and subscribe to the Three Forms of Unity or to the Westminster Confession of Faith. He will engage in publicizing the work of the seminary. The gift of teaching, the ability to rightly divide the Word of God, and a heart for prison ministry are necessary.
Interested individuals should contact Mr. Donald Hoekstra, the chairman of the Education committee, via e-mail at email@example.com.